...my crazy life...
current mood - The current mood of TWBBmom at www.imood.com

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

16 and Pregnant

No, not me. I'm well past 16 and I've had that possibility surgically eliminated.

I'm talking about the MTV show. Oh, hush. Don't judge me. Anyone who's known me for 5 minutes knows I'm a sucker for lame reality shows. I blame a lot of it on my stitching habit. I like something that is just enough brain candy to keep my ears occupied but doesn't require me to look at the screen very often as my eyes are otherwise busy (which is also why I *cannot* stitch and watch Dancing with the Stars - the effort to balance both makes my head spin).

Anyway - I don't sit and watch whole episodes, I just watch til the commercial comes on and then switch back to whatever shlock I was watching. However, I did watch an episode the other day which touched me personally.

The unwed teens featured in the episode made the decision to give up their baby for adoption.

Now, this is NOT a blog about pro-life/pro-choice, etc. so forth and if you want to make it so, do it somewhere else. This is not the point of my blog.

I was adopted from birth (the child of an unwed 19 year old who was in no position to take care of a baby on her own). Watching the difficult decision these two kids made touched me deeply. Especially since they did NOT have the support of their parents.

Their parents were pushing hard for them to keep the baby and raise it themselves. But even at their young age, they acknowledged they were in no place emotionally or financially to take care of this child. They picked an adoptive family. They made a scrapbook for their child and wrote her letters. And in the delivery room, they gave the baby up and held each other and cried as they reminded themselves of the better life they were offering their child.

Now, I know that adoption doesn't guarantee a child a great life. People are people and nothing is perfect.

But in watching that episode, it gave me a look at the sacrifice my own birth mother made on my behalf so I could have a life that she couldn't give to me. Was it a perfct life? Hell, no. But it was a good one. I have great memories, and I had the best dad on the planet and I would have never even known him if it hadn't for the gift that she gave to me at what had to be a great expense to herself.

I was very touched by that episode. And will probably watch it again (and cry a little and smile as I thank her for what she did for me).

Posted by Valerie at 10:17 AM

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Totally worth it

Ok, when I first decided to make this move, I was terrified that I was doing the wrong thing. Especially when the apartment gave me a last minute incentives to stay. But I forged ahead.

Wow. Thank goodness. It is a *little* weird having the washer/dryer in the kitchen. Outside of that? Heaven. It's like being in a house again. I am done unpacking (woot!) with the exception of putting the 2 tons of cross stitch up on the walls.

I love it! I love how all my rooms are set up and I love the storage and I love the comfy stitching and working nooks that I have. *happy sigh*

I've already started meeting the neighbors which is nice, too. Apparently, everyone knows everyone here and I haven't had that for years. Very, very nice.

Did I mention the big-ass turtle that was in my yard a couple of days ago?

I'm gonna love this place!

Posted by Valerie at 9:01 PM

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Moving, moving, moving

Facebookers, this imports from my actual blog. You have to choose View Original Post or whatever Facebook is calling it to go read the actual post. Thanks.

So the move to the darling little duplex is pretty much complete. Ok, it looks like a moving truck vomited up inside of it at the moment (which is pretty ironic considering I didn't rent a truck for the move, I can't figure out how the laundry bred so much in less than a week, and I still have a ton of clean up to do at the old apartment. *feh*

It's a darling little half-house and I'm already endeared. The apartment was a place to live but never felt like home. This already feels more like home to me. I don't know if it's the space or the yard or what, but whatever it is, I'm glad that it already feels that way.

Other than that things were good. It's been a busy, busy month.

A & I went to C-girl's house for a 7/4 BBQ which was really nice. *hugs* to you C-girl for making the Magic Lamps feel so welcome in your home.

I fell down the stairs at the answering service. Ironic, the only time I *have* to go to the office and I hurt myself. I think the universe really tried to stop me, too. My starter went out in the car that morning and I really didn't think it would be fixed in time for me to make the remote operator's meeting. I'm pretty lucky because I didn't just miss a step or two, I went head over heels down about 7 steps. I busted up my right finger pretty good. Can't bend it all the way, but can still bend it so I'm splinting it and trying not to reinjure it in the prcess of lifting heavy furniture. Fun.

Oh, and which finger (you should ask). My middle finger on my left hand. Good that it's not my dominant hand but I do look like I'm perpetually flipping people off. Must remember not to wave at other drivers on I-85.

I'm trying to think of more to write, but can't which means either I'm too tired to think or my life really is all about the move with nothing more interesting to report. Either way, I know I'm searching my brain for material, not because I feel compelled to share with the blogiverse, but because when I finish this, I have to go back to the duplex and clean and unpack some more. I'm having that petulant child moment where I know it *has* to be done.....I just don't wanna. Oh well. Guess I'm gonna.

Posted by Valerie at 8:56 AM

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Aftermath of GARF

What a year this has been! Thanks to all who participated in GARF 2009. It was an exciting rookie year for me as Entertainment Director. I have learned a lot and I hope to continue to improve my skills & abilities to make 2010 even better and more exciting for everyone!

Thanks SO much to the cast for the wonderful gifts! Closing day they presented me with a bottle of Tums and a big bottle of Captain Morgan's! (tums and alcohol being a motto of mine), gift certificates for 2 hours worth of massage, and a gift card for Kohl's!

I've been savoring the gift card, only spending a little at a time so I can have as many shopping experiences as possible. *lol* My first shopping trip, I got a Bissel hand vac with a stick extension (which will be handy with all the hardwood floors in the duplex). Yesterday was trip #2 and I made out quite well - a sterling silver and crystal dragonfly ring, a triple strand necklace of silver chains and red beads (which I'll wear out dancing tonight), and a flattering pair of red shorts - $80 of merchandise for $40! Not sure what I'll get next but I'm loving the guilt free pleasure of being able to go spend money on myself for things I don't necessarily need but would certainly like to have. Every time I see the little bit of bling on my finger, it makes me think of my awesome cast and makes me smile. :)

So we're two weeks post closing. Whew! I'm pretty much done with GARF laundry (save a couple of court gowns in my tub and the King's feathers in my kitchen sink). I've cleaned and closed everything, finished all my paperwork and, starting next week, I go back to my thril-a-minute job as an at-home answering service operator. I'm relieved. As a single homeschool mom, it's very hard for me to make my budget on just one job and, unfortunately, MMP has been through a very dry spell. It'll be very helpful to cycle another paycheck back into the household. I went last night and got 2 cordless handsets (the last two have just died from overuse), and a new laptop fan (I burn through those, too) and just need to download the software back onto the laptop (after crash and rebuild #9) and I'll be ready to go!

Other randomness:

Last weekend was my first weekend off in months and it was wonderful. We threw a belated birthday party for my friend, T (thanks for waiting a week, sister, so I could be conscious for the event!). We closed the dance club down Saturday night and Sunday I got to sleep in until an obscenely late hour.....and loved it!

A & I went to see "Knowing" Sunday. It was a pretty decent bit of afternoon brain candy. A movie reviewer described it well in saying it's all the bat-poop-crazy you'd expect from Nicolas Cage. *lol*

I discovered the Panda Express by my house. That's a mixed blessing. I haven't cooked in ages (partly due to being insanely busy and currently due to the chaos that is my half-packed house). Finding an non-fried alternative that is quick and inexpensive is something I'm going to have to resist over-indulging in. The Mushroom Chicken was VERY tasty!

I've gotten a good start to my second weekend off and am looking at it like the calm before the every-day busy of the off season kicks in. The apartment is mostly packed except for kidlet's room. All that's left for me is the everyday stuff - the kitchen, the bathroom, my clothes and the tv's/computers. I finally have my lease in hand so I can get the utilities turned on but I still need to get the paint so I can paint the walls before I complete the move and unpack.

I really am looking forward to it. The apartment was a blessing and what I needed when I most needed it but it's time to move. The management is trying to entice me to stay, offering not only to not raise my rent but to give me first month's free rent on a renewal. But I'm having to look at the long-term picture. I'm never going to get a move-in deal like this again. Even though all I've done is put boxes in the living room, the more I'm there, the more it feels right. It feels nice to be in a "house" setting again. The yard was full of fire-flies last night and it was beautiful. It'll be nice not to have upstairs neighbors or walk out my door to the smell of the dumpster cooking in the summer sun. It'll be nice not to have kids playing 2 feet away from my window or to have the leaf blower going on for hours at a time twice a week (they're a little OCD about mowing and painting the speed bumps, really). It'll be about 3 more weekends before I do the "final move" due to my schedule, but as I'll have to pay rent at the apartment complex through the end of July, there's no hurry.

So that's about it! If you're still reading this you're either a) me re-reading my archives or b) really bored and willing to read anything just to kill some time!

**hugs to all*

Posted by Valerie at 3:34 PM

Thursday, May 28, 2009

An "Almost End of Fair" Update

Yeah, 4 months. That is an obscenely long time. Sorry.

I started in on 5 days a week at the office in February, not counting the additional rehearsal times, and then we opened the fair, and, well, it's definitely been a whirlwind. I'm now getting one day a week off and we close in a couple of weeks so the return to a more 'normal' schedule (normal for me anyway) is close at hand.

The other big exciting news is that it looks like I'll be moving at the end of festival. I'm stuck in my lease til the end of August but I found someone willing to rent me a duplex now with no rent til August and no security deposit.

The pros:

A yard - I have so missed having grass under my feet. It makes me feel like an adult to live in something that at least resembles a house and having a yard is a big part of that.

It's quiet - it's on a road that dead ends into the back of the park with no vehicle access into the park from my street. No through-traffic means a quiet neighborhood as opposed to being in the apartment complex where I have kids playing 3 feet from my window all the time.

A porch - I'm not allowed to put any chairs in my "porch" area of the apartment. Strictly forbidden. Now I'll have a front and a back porch which means I can sit out in nice weather and I can put up hanging plants! (which I can't do inside because the kitty of evilness will eat them in 3 minutes).

The layout - it doesn't have a lot more space than the apartment, but the way it's laid out, it has more of a feeling of privacy. You can't see into the bedrooms from the living room which is a nice thing.

A nice quiet next door neighbor. Enough said.

Cheap rent - cheaper than where I'm at now.


A yard - apparently I get to share the yardwork with the neighbor. It's the one thing I didn't miss when I moved last Christmas. And the yard isn't tiny, either. But I'm young and fit and I'll manage it.

No dishwasher - I'm a little bit of a princess but I'll get over it.

Washer and dryer live in the kitchen - and in a weird way - the dryer near the refrigerator and the washer next to the stove.

Apparently there are some electrical issues with back feed that Kidlet's dad found. No immediate danger but it does need to go on the to-do list of things to repair.

The deciding factor that put me over the fence last night was the fact that he's willing to let me move in with 2 months free rent and no deposit. If I wait 6-12 months to move, the odds that I will find a bargain like this are slim. Since I don't have to be out of the apartment til 8/1, I can move piecemeal in the car and then take one weekend and move all the big stuff in a pick-up truck brigade.

It's a little scary. I really hate change. But all in all, I think it's a good thing!

Posted by Valerie at 11:03 AM

Monday, February 02, 2009

Best Job in the World

This YouTube video (and more importantly, her commentary) is a shining example of why we have the best job in the world:

Getting Some Play at the Renaissance Festival

Posted by Valerie at 5:36 PM

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yay for Shoulder Therapy!

Between dancing Saturday night and cooking Sunday night, not only was my wrist sore, but my shoulder was miserably painful last night. (yes, chopping, stirring, and post-cooking clean-up create shoulder pain - fun)

I went in for hand therapy today and we talked about my shoulder. When she manipulated it and pushed on the place where I have my post-activity pain, it actually brought tears to my eyes. So I've talked to the referring doctor's office and they've now added shoulder therapy to my treatment schedule. Huzzah.

It's frustrating because I'm not in pain all the time, just when I try to do things. It builds up slow and the next day is when I pay the bigger price. I'm tired of sitting on my butt watching tv because stitching and dancing are painful. I feel like I'm falling way behind on my stitching to boot. I'll be so disappointed if I can't finish something impressive in time for N. Ga. State Fair this year. Hopefully, it won't come to that.

Posted by Valerie at 1:14 PM

Monday, January 19, 2009

17 days later...

That's right - 17 days after I talked to the claims loss guy, the person assigned to call me to get the title information *finally* deigned to call me back.

I told them to call my attorney.

I started hand therapy last week. My flexibility is "normal" in my right hand. Normal, however, being abnormal for me. Apparently, I'm hyper-flexible based on the measurements of my left hand. I also have diminished grip in my right hand, about a 1/3 of what I have on my left hand (and I'm right handed to boot, so it's my stronger hand).

It makes sense. If I don't use it, it doesn't hurt, but it's when I do things that require pressure or repetitive motion - cutting up food for cooking, washing dishes, stitching....still can't take off the gas cap with my right hand - that's when it hurts. The more I use it, the more it hurts when I'm done using it.

My therapist did introduce me to Biofreeze. OMG. This stuff is my new crack. Treating the site of pain without having to dope up my brain? Yes!

I'm also having shoulder pain (which they didn't refer me to treatment for - apparently if there's no pain when you push and pull on it, it doesn't raise interest - I'm going to talk to her about that at tomorrow's appointment because I need a better answer). Between the hand and the shoulder, stitching and dancing are pretty painful activities after about 30 minutes of use.

Well, I loaded up on the Biofreeze when I left the Murder Mystery show Saturday night to go dancing. Hallelujiah! Because I couldn't feel the pain in my right shoulder, I wasn't tensing up so I could read tells better and was back to dipping like I was born to do it. But by the end of the night, when the pain meds and Biofreeze wore off, I was in excruciating pain. My wrist was throbbing and I felt like I got kicked in the shoulder. Worth it? Absolutely.

Apparently, it's not the worst course of action either. If I just sit on my butt and wait for this type of injury to heal, it's probably going to heal badly and I'll never have the range of motion I used to have. Better to keep it moving and flexible and keep encouraging growth of my range of motion.

So yay for Biofreeze, which made Saturday night possible!

Posted by Valerie at 3:30 PM

Monday, January 12, 2009

Insurance Update

Long story short - out of frustration, I said I'd take the $950. That was 10 days ago. Some nice lady who handles titles was supposed to call me to take care of the paperwork.

Like I said, that was 10 days ago.

The adjuster on the case called me tonight (not the claims loss guy who made the offer and gave me a lick and a promise that someone would call me about the title). She was checking to see what the status was on my 'bodily injury' claim. I told her that they'd need to talk to my attorney about it and I got her up to speed on the whole thing - how the claims loss handled the situation about the storage lot and how no one had made any effort to contact me about the title.

She sounded mortified at what I had been through. She worded it carefully but, without outright saying they had screwed up, agreed that I should have an attorney's help dealing with them.


Posted by Valerie at 10:16 PM

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Car News

Well, I finally did it. I finally found a reliable replacement car for what I can afford (kinda). It's a sweet little 1998 Nissan Sentra - 160k, fully loaded. Kelly Blue Book is 4600 but I bought it for $3000. Yay, me! Pics will follow (the camera is at home and I'm at the office at the moment, collecting mail, sending mail *cough*Ariel&Jen*cough*, etc.)

No love for the insurance company of the guy who hit me. The last conversation I had to them prior to this week was Friday 12/19. I sent them copies of the receipts showing the $7000 in repairs that had been done to that car in the last 2.5 years, hence making it extremely reliable which is what I need to drive the 2500-4000 miles a month that I am prone to do. That information made them decide to up the offer from $500 to $870.

I told them that wasn't going to suffice. It wasn't as if I was their client who did something stupid to my car and am now being asked to lie down in the bed that I made. Their insured was careless and because of his carelessness, I lost the only means of transportation I have to get to and from my 3 jobs to take care of my son AND I'm living on a tight budget so can't really afford a new monthly expenditure. Hence, the reason I drove a car with a crappy paint job and dented door. I wasn't driving the paint, I was driving the reliable engine that I had so carefully maintained. He said he'd talk to a manager and get back with me on Monday.

He said that liability hadn't been officially determined yet but that once it was and they made their next offer, I'd have 3 days to turn in the rental car.

He also said that they were only going to pay storage fees for a limited time on the car and that I needed to move it. I flipped out and called the adjuster who is overseeing the case. She assured me that liability hadn't been officially returned by the underwriter but she was 100% sure that it would be and not to worry, to leave the car where it was and they'd take care of it.

Monday came and went. The whole week came and went. The whole week came and went. Not a word from the insurance company.

In the meantime, I'm trying to find a car in the neighborhood of $3000. It's amazing how much shit is out there in the $3000 range. It's amazing how many car salesmen, after hearing my situation and understanding that I have to get into a reliable car that I will not have to fix weekly, will still hand me keys to a car that within 30 seconds of a test drive, you can tell isn't worth the space it's taking up on their lot. It's one of the few times I have really hated being a woman and been doubly angry at each of the sales people who tried to sell me a worthless piece of shit because they think a blonde with breasts just won't know better. I also hate the small private lots who tried to insist that financing me at 26% would be a great bargain. *pshaw*

I ended up with a great bargain. I found my car on AutoTrader.com at a Nissan dealership in Carrollton. It's in great shape. Clean. Well taken care of. Runs excellent. And a bargain. I'm not happy with my interest rate but beggars can't be choosers.

So....back to the insurance company.

I'm at the dealership yesterday doing paperwork and praying to the finance gods that the universe will see fit to have someone cut me a check to pay for the car and I get a call from the rental car company - the rental car company, not the insurance company, telling me that it was the last day the insurance company was going to pay for the rental car.

WTF?! Did AllState have any intention of sharing this little tidbit of information with me?? When? I was told I had 3 days after liability had been declared and they called with an offer - neither of which had happened. What-the-fuck-ever.

The financing didn't come through til this morning so I ended up having to pay for a day of the rental, on top of the 15 days of insurance that I owed.

I spoke to the adjuster who said that he was supposed to have called me. Well, couldashouldawoulda - he didn't. 10 days had gone by and they never called me. And no one ever called me back that day either. They called me this afternoon and offered me $970.

Mmmmmmm. No. I can't get a reliable car for $900. Hell, I had a hard getting a reliable car for $3000. I may end up taking the offer but I'm going to talk to an attorney first and see what they advise. We still haven't talked about the medical bills and the residual pain in my shoulder and wrist (which pisses me off infinitely as there are dance moves I can't do anymore because I have limited range of motion in my right shoulder without incurring a LOT of pain).

It's frustrating. I'm going to consult an attorney. Maybe he'll tell me that this is the best I can do on the car and to accept it and worry about the rest of the settlement for medical/pain. Maybe he'll tell me I'm not unreasonable to ask for more in order to be made whole. At any rate, that's where things stand as of now. So keep your fingers crossed, gentle readers. I'll keep you posted as my dealing with the $%@#^%&$%^$#^^$%&$%@%#$!@#!@'s continues.

Posted by Valerie at 3:58 PM

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Automotive Update

So I got my first offer on the car. $500. It's just not feasible. Over the last 26 months I've spent $7000 on repairing her. Wow! That's a lot of money you say! Yeah, the repairs nickled and dimed in the middle of 2007 but I talked to my mechanic and the decision I came to that it was better to fix the devil I knew than spend money on a 'new' used car and end up with both car payments and expensive repairs (because 'new' used cars very rarely come without problems). In 2008, the amount I spent on car repairs? $500. And I drive an average of 2000 miles a month. She was in excellent shape and $500 will not get me a car as healthy under the hood as she was.

It's going to be a hard fight with the insurance company. They want to replace the on paper value. I need replacement value which, to me, means enough to get a considerably older but well-working car which is going to be around $2000.

I've put up pics of her final state in my Webshots album.

Thanks for all the well-wishes and support. Sorry I haven't answered any e-mails. I'm overwhelmed at the moment. I spent all day today running 'car' related errands and phone calls and haven't touched my chores yet.

If anyone wants to tell Santa to send me a car for Christmas, you can tell him it's ok that I don't have a chimney. Delivery outside my front door will be just fine by me.

Posted by Valerie at 7:32 PM

Thursday, December 11, 2008

End of an Era

After nearly 12 years of faithful service and a very scary accident on 285-W this morning, it looks like the Car-Craptastic is finally going to go to her final resting place.

I was heading from Gwinnett this morning to pick up kidlet from his dad's. I usually take 85S on Thursday mornings but the traffic report said the traffic was heavy so I took the outer loop instead. Just past the Ashford-Dunwoody on-ramp is where 'it' happened. Apparently he was going too fast for the conditions and when he came off the ramp, he lost control of his Jeep Journey. His vehicle started to spin and he did 360's across all 4 lanes of traffic. There was no way not to hit him. One moment he wasn't there, the next minute he was right in front of me with no way to stop.

He ended up on the left side of the freeway facing the wrong way. I was able to pull off to the right and called the police to respond. They sent an ambulance as well but I declined transport at the time.

The guy who caused the accident couldn't have been nicer (which meant a lot to me because you hear so many stories about people who are at fault and are total assholes and/or completely refuse to accept responsibility). When he finally got HERO help to get to my side of the road, he came over and hugged me and made sure I was ok. He also stated he was very glad I wasn't a semi (which was fortunate for him that he wasn't hit by something larger).

I've been asked over and over today by health care and insurance workers if my airbag deployed. No. Don't have one. I was saved by the fact that the car is a tank and, goddess willing, I will buy another tank. I hit him fairly hard and the front end is smashed in, but nothing sprang a leak and I could have driven it away except everything is pushed back into the wheel well which is not good for driving generally.

The tow truck driver took me to a gas station just off the nearest exit and waited with me til DS's dad could get there to pick me up. I called my doctor to get something for the muscle pain but she sent me to the ER for a better safe than sorry check. I came out clear except for contusions and muscle damage and was given lots of fun drugs which I can't take yet because I have an answering service shift tonight (I would have taken it off but I'm working so everyone else can go to the company Christmas party. I'm making double time and they agreed to cover my shift tomorrow instead because tomorrow, apparently, I'm going to hurt a hell of a lot worse than today.)

I'll pick up a rental car tomorrow (they weren't going to have one til late today so there was no need to bother) and see where things go from there.

Odds are, it's going to be totaled. It's a '93 Chevy Cavalier. It has over 243,000 miles on it.

I'm more upset about the car than anything else. I can hardly write this without crying. I really can't afford a car payment at this stage of the game and what I'd get on my car being totaled won't even make a decent down payment on something used.

She was an old car, but she was faithful. She ran well and solid and has been a godsend to me. She looked like crap on the outside, but was more dependable than any other car I've ever had. I'm devastated to lose her and now have to figure out how to afford another car.

So if anyone knows of a REALLY cheap and reliable car for sale and/or you want to donate money to the "Val needs a new car for Christmas fund", feel free to shoot me an e-mail or leave me a message on MySpace or Facebook.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Posted by Valerie at 6:53 PM

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Anti-Martha Stewart Style

Yeah, I know this is an oldie, but it's my favorite Thanksgiving funny so you have to suffer through it one more time. Happy Thanksgiving all!

Just a note to let you know we are hoping to see you Thanksgiving Day. But…

Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. I’m telling you in advance, so don’t act surprised.

Since Ms. Stewart won’t be coming, I’ve made a few small changes:

Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

Once inside, our guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make. Instead, I’ve gotten the kids involved in the decorating by having them track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. The mud was their idea.

The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from last Christmas.

Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that I promised. Instead we will be displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper. The artist assures me it is a turkey.

We will be dining fashionably late. The children will entertain you while you wait. I’m sure they will be happy to share every choice comment I have made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims and the turkey hotline. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00 a.m. upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds.

As accompaniment to the children’s recital, I will play a recording of tribal drumming. If the children should mention that I don’t own a recording of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are lying.

We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. We’ve also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next door.

Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not be happening at our dinner. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony. I stress “private” meaning: Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win. When I do, we will eat.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind my young diners that “passing the rolls” is not a football play. Nor is it a request to bean your sister in the head with warm tasty bread.

Oh, and one reminder for the adults: For the duration of the meal, and especially while in the presence of young diners, we will refer to the giblet gravy by its lesser-known name: Cheese Sauce. If a young diner questions you regarding the origins or type of Cheese Sauce, plead ignorance. Cheese Sauce stains.

Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and small fingerprints. You will still have a choice; take it or leave it.

I hope you aren’t too disappointed that Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. She probably won’t come next year either.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Posted by Valerie at 11:22 AM

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So the next thing...

....that needs to be fixed on the Car-Craptastic?

The final bulb in my dash has gone out. This means that I have to flip on the interior light to determine *exactly* how fast I'm going.

Cost to repair? $70

The bulbs are only $4 but taking apart the dash is a time consuming job, hence the hefty labor charge.


Posted by Valerie at 8:40 PM

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I have the best mechanic....EVER!

So over the last week my car has developed a dry metallic grinding sound when it started. Generally, not a good thing.

I took it in to the guys at Agape Automotive today. FWIW, they're the only ones I let work on my car and I sincerely believe that's why I'm still plugging along at 241,000 miles and still going!

What happened is the starter, which is still under warranty, apparently had a weak bolt. The bolt came loose and fell into the block. This caused the starter to shift. When I'd start the car, the flywheel would grind against the starter, damaging the flywheel.

They found the bolt, replaced the started (free under warranty), and instead of replacing the flywheel, were able to file down the damaged bits instead.

2.5 hours and I walked out with a repair bill of $115.

I *love* my mechanics. Best. Mechanics. Ever.

Posted by Valerie at 1:01 PM

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Swing Dancing Tonight! 11/5

Location: Trilogy Dining & Entertainment
Street: 4930 Davidson Rd.
City State Zip: Marietta GA, 30068
Phone: 770-971-4770
Notes: Swing Dance Party Every First Wednesday of the Month with DJ Alan 'Spin Daddy' White

Free Introductory Lesson with Matt 'Elvis' Johnson - 7- 7:30 PM
Open Dancing: 7:30 PM - 11 PM

$6.00 Cover - Plenty of Free Parking!

Directions to Trilogy:
Trilogy is located in East Cobb at 4930 Davidson Rd.,
just off Lower Roswell Rd. and Johnson Ferry Rd.

The location is behind the Parkaire Kroger, in the former Sparkles roller skating rink building.

Posted by Valerie at 11:07 AM

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

Posted by Valerie at 11:45 PM

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Black Rockport loafers for $22.

Leather Keds for $19.

Now I just need to find a nice pair of brown/neutral flats and I'm done with fulfilling my current shoe needs. Why are most of the flats in the stores these days a Mary Jane style. I'm not 8. I want a cute shoe, but one that's appropriate for a grown-ass woman. Thanks.

Posted by Valerie at 2:21 PM

Friday, October 24, 2008

Because it's too bizarre not to post

Online Divorcee Jailed After Killing Virtual Husband

Posted by Valerie at 10:08 AM

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Questions You Generally Don't Want to Hear from Your Child

"Mom, how do you clean up blood on the floor?"

(He's fine. Got a cut between his toes on the bed frame. Don't ask me how. Only my child. But there were copious puddles of blood on the bathroom floor. Eeesh.)

Posted by Valerie at 10:33 PM

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